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Eket Tribal Mask

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Eket Tribal Mask
5.00 LBS
Calculated at checkout

Product Description

The Eket have lived in the Cross River region of Nigeria for a millennium. The Eket are a subgroup of the Ibibio people and share the same general histories. The Ibibio are a strong proud group of people who resisted invasions by the colonials! It took the British until the end of WW1 to gain position enough to take indirect control. The avid participation of the Eket in the Ekpo secret society which binds all Ibibio tribes together served to thwart and prolong the invaders game plan. This powerful Ibibio religion is based on paying tribute to ancestors and is ruled by elders in each individual village. These men participate in ceremonies concerned with ancestral spirits and are believed to protect the community through magic and religious ritual. The most feared and revered ancestors were those that gained a high ranking in the village while they were alive. Adherence to the mandates set forth by the village heads where unquestionably obeyed with severe penalty sanctioned if not. The Ekpo rule was absolute. A people with such a rich pride filled history and effective social structure quite understandably celebrate their identity and unity often. Secret society rituals and galas are held using masks and various ritualistic paraphernalia. 

As fundamentally similar as these groups are the Eket have their own distinctive artistic styling. Circular and colorful motifs are characteristic of their masquerade facial coverings. The ancestor mask offered here was used during an Ekpo ceremony. Two atypical Eket pigmented ovular carved raised patterns ring the eyes of this wooden mask.  It is well carved and has been preserved very well whereas it was carved n the 20th century. This Eket is a bit of a rare find. This type of ancestral mask is not as mainstream as the Eket round Abubon ceremonial mask.

Please click photo for enlargement!

Crafted: 20th century

Dimensions: 8.75 inches across  x 4.5 inches deep x 15.25 inches tall

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